Herzegovina-Neretva Canton


Herzegovina-Neretva Canton

Herzegovina-Neretva is one of the 10 cantons of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The canton mainly comprises the Neretva river valley area and parts of Herzegovina west of Mostar, its administrative center.

Municipalities

The canton is split into the municipalities of Čapljina, Čitluk, Jablanica, Konjic, Mostar, Neum, Rama, Ravno and Stolac.

Geography and features

The canton is one of two cantons in Bosnia and Herzegovina with access to the sea via the municipality of Neum. Neum is a town of 2,000 citizens (1991 census) and the area around the city is rich with historical and archeological remains after the Illyrians. The Illyrians were a people who lived in the Balkans for many thousands of years.

The largest city in the canton and the fifth largest city in the country is Mostar. Mostar is located on the banks of the Neretva river and is divided between Croats and Bosniaks. Mostar is known for its old bridge and the old city near the bridge. It is alleged that during the Bosnian War Croat forces bombed and destroyed the bridge. The bridge was recently reconstructed in the summer of 2004. The opening ceremony was attended by several foreign delegates including Stjepan Mesić, the President of Croatia.

Other notable cities in this canton are Čapljina, Konjic, Jablanica and the world famous Marian Shrine of Međugorje. Jablanica and Konjic are notable for battles which took place there during World War II and there is a large museum in Jablanica dedicated to these battles.

The Neretva river runs through the cities of Konjic, Jablanica, Mostar and Čapljina before it flows through Croatia and into the Adriatic Sea. There are large lakes in the canton such as the Jablanica lake located around the city Jablanica. The southern most municipality in the canton is the Neum municipality which borders the Adriatic sea and the eastern most munucipality is the Ravno municipality along the border with Croatia.

Ethnic groups

Of the ten cantons comprising the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton is one of two cantons the other being the Central Bosnia Canton which have an ethnically mixed population of Bosniak and Croat peoples. In ethnically mixed Cantons there are special legislative procedures for the protection of the constituent ethnic groups.

Croats form a majority in the municipalities of Čapljina, Čitluk, Neum, Prozor-Rama, Ravno and Stolac. Bosniaks form a majority in the municipalities of Jablanica and Konjic. The municipality of Mostar in the central part of the canton is largely a mixture of Bosniaks and Croats.

In 2003, the population of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton was believed to number 219,223 people, of which:

*Croats: 110,714 (50.5%)
*Bosniaks: 102,019 (46.5%)
*Serbs: 5,486 (2.5%)
*others: 1,004 (0.5%)

ee also

*Herzegovina
*Capljina
*prebilovci


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